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WatchSonoma Watch
PAC formed to oppose Sonoma hotel initiative

A new Sonoma organization describing itself as a broad citizens group opposed to a voter initiative to cap hotel development is getting its seed money from the developer whose controversial project could be blocked by the proposed ballot measure.

Rep. Mike Thompson pushes gun background-check legislation

In a move laden with election-year political implications, Rep. Mike Thompson announced Tuesday that he has more than 100 co-sponsors for a bill to expand background checks on gun buyers.

Former North Coast congressman Don Clausen turning 90

The broad smile, a trademark of his 20 years of representing the North Coast in Congress, still flashes across Don Clausen’s face.

Carrillo mulls run for Assembly; Wood, Lowry already in race

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo has confirmed he is ‘seriously investigating’ a run for the state Assembly seat for the North Coast to be vacated next year by Wes Chesbro.

Carrillo would join two other local candidates, Jim Wood, the Healdsburg city councilman, and John Lowry, the former executive director of Burbank Housing in Santa Rosa, both of whom have said they are running for the Assembly seat. All three are Democrats.

Signs of compromise, cooperation on Santa Rosa City Council

A spirit of cooperation and compromise appears to have taken root on the Santa Rosa City Council as newcomers unscarred by ideological skirmishes of the past are working hard to forge pragmatic solutions to the city’s pressing issues.

Two recent policy debates underscore how the dynamic has shifted since three new members have taken seats on the council since the November election.

Julie Combs and Erin Carlstrom were both elected to the seven-member council in the fall, and Robin Swinth, a former Board of Public Utilities member, was appointed in January to replace now 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin.

Powerful lobbying firms have North Bay connections

Four of the busiest lobbying firms in Sacramento have North Bay connections. Atop the heap is a firm co-founded by former North Bay lawmaker Bev Hansen.

Spending in race between Susan Gorin, John Sawyer most expensive in Sonoma County history

Spending by outside groups made last year’s race between Susan Gorin and John Sawyer for the 1st District Sonoma County supervisor’s seat the most expensive in county history, campaign finance reports show.

Initiative process focus of LWV presentation

David McCuan, a professor of political science at Sonoma State University, will discuss the initiative and referendum process in California on Feb. 23 in Santa Rosa at an informational meeting presented by the League of Women Voters. Get more information here.

Many choices for Santa Rosa City Council in picking 7th member

Imagine if you could win a seat on the Santa Rosa City Council without enduring an election.

No fundraising. No campaigning. No walking precincts. No groveling for endorsements from special interest groups.

Just fill out an application, answer a few questions, and if four of the six council members like what they hear, you get to join them in directing public policy for the next two years.

That possibility is proving attractive to 17 people who hope to be appointed to serve the remaining two years of the second term of Susan Gorin, who won election to the Board of Supervisors in November.

300,000 North Coast residents without a state senator

Got a burning need to contact your state senator? For more than 50,000 residents of unincorporated Sonoma County, that number currently is disconnected.

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